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Iran Rights Activist Reportedly Arrested And Later Released

Iranian courtroom with a flag of the country's Judiciary. File photo
Iranian courtroom with a flag of the country's Judiciary. File photo

Iranian Baha'i citizen and human rights activist, Jinous Sobhani, was briefly arrested, Iran Human rights Documentation Center (IHRDC) reported on March 31.

Hours later, informed sources said she was released, but there are no details about her arrest or release.

Jinous Sobhani, human rights activist and former secretary of Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Shirin Ebadi was arrested late last Saturday at her home and taken away to an unknown location, IHRDC said.

It is not yet known which security agency was responsible for the arrest.

Meanwhile, agents took away Ms. Sobhani's personal effects, including her laptop and cellphone.

Sobhani, the former secretary at the Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC) and the Organization for the Defense of Mine Victims (ODMV), had once been arrested in 2009. Authorities confiscated her address book, telephone, and other work materials and took her to Evin Prison.

Both the DHRC and ODMV were established by Iranian Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi, and Sobhani was an employee there until authorities shut down the DHRC claiming it is an illegal organization. The DHRC was one of the leading human rights organizations in Iran, at the time.

Shirin Ebadi is currently living in exile in the U.K.

Sobhani was released on March 11, 2009, on a 700 million rials (approximately $73,000 at the time) bail.

The Baha'I community, the most significant religious minority in Iran, has always been under heavy pressure by the Islamic Republic's establishment.

Hundreds of Baha'is have been arrested and a number of them executed since the Islamic Revolution led to the downfall of the last Iranian monarch, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

The Islamic Republic does not recognize Baha'ism as a legitimate religion and has restricted the activities of its followers, including depriving them of higher education and sealing off their stores and businesses.